SIALKOT-Heaps of garbage in different areas of Sialkot city particularly in front of Govt Elementary School New Mianapura exposed the widespread negligence and poor performance of both the Sialkot Municipal Corporation (SMC) and the Sialkot Waste Management Company (SWMC) as these institutions have failed to clean the city.

"These public institutions have both requisite funds and machinery besides manpower to clean the city but it seems sanitation is missing from priorities of officers of both these departments," regretted residents of different areas while talking to this scribe during a survey.

It has been learnt that hundreds of students of Govt Elementary School New Mianapura have, now, refused to go to their school, saying the odour billows from the heaps of garbage make it virtually impossible to sit in class rooms.

The students said that heaps of trash have made it very hard to study in the school due suffocation causes by stink. "Now we will go to our school until the heaps of garbage are removed" chorused students in unison.

They said that provision of a pollution-free atmosphere is their basic right but it seems the government policies' lack any such strategy and limited only to tall claims. They questioned progress on the Clean and Green Punjab Programme. Sanitary staff of the Sialkot Municipal Corporation and even the SWMC dumps garbage in front of the school.

"The negligence of sanitary staff has been going on unchecked and causing problems for students and residents of nearby localities," residents of surrounding locality said, adding that heaps of garbage also pose serious health hazards for local people. Locals of the surrounding localities claimed that they had repeated bought the miserable situation into the notice of the district administration but nothing came out of it.

The students, their teachers and parents and residents of Sialkot city's congested New Mianapura locality have expressed grave concern over this critical situation.

They alleged that both the SMC and SWMC have turned the area into a filth depot by continuously dumping garbage there.

The people urged the Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, Commissioner Gujranwala Division Asad Ullah Faiz, Sialkot Deputy Commissioner Dr Syed Bilal Haider and SMC Chairman Ch Tauheed Akhtar to ensure early removal of the heaps of garbage from the locality in the larger public interest for providing pollution-free atmosphere to the residents and students.

They also demanded the SMC and SWMC high-ups to refrain sanitation staff from dumping garbage in residential areas.

ACE recovered Rs2.47b from corrupt officials

The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) has recovered Rs2.47 billion plundered by corrupt officials during a special campaign launched to purge the region of corruption.

The campaign was carried out in across Gujranwala Division - all six Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Hafizabad and Gujranwala districts in the current year.

According to Regional Director ACE Fareed Ahmed, the ACE had also got registered as many as 163 separate cases against 600 corrupt officials in different departments including 47 officials of Grade-I, Grade 19 and 20 across the region.

He said that the ACE has also got retrieved as many as 2,000 kanal of commercial official lands (worth of Rs730 million) from illegal occupants here.